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May 7, 2012

Venice Preview Sketches #14, 15, and 16

I made an accordion-folded watercolor "sketchbook" for me to practice sketching scenes in Venice before our trip and these 3 pages complete my Venice Previews.  All of the sketches were done from photos that I took in 2002, before I started to keep sketchbooks or travel journals. 

A blog reader said that they would like to know what my experience is like - after arriving in Venice - based on my preliminary sketchbook painting.  Even before I leave, I feel as if I have more confidence in my ability to paint water and the crumbling texture of the plaster over brick walls of the buildings.  I also know how difficult it is to make accurate drawings of the ornate columns on the most famous buildings.  But most importantly, I have a wonderful sense of freedom because I will always have these 16 journal paintings that will be part of my Venice experience - and I will now be more spontaneous and sketch my daily sights and experiences, "in the moment."

San Maggiore from Piazza San Marco:


Details - Ca' D'Oro


A Random Canal, Tower Photo I took:  Maybe I'll recognize the Tower when we arrive in Venice



March 16, 2012

Venice Painting Practice

I resumed my drawing/painting practice this week for our Spring trip to Venice.  The Print Studio at MoMA consumed all of my attention during much of February and the first week in March, pushing Venice down my priority list. 

I was concerned that I had no idea how to capture the wonderful patina and aging of the buildings, with exposed bricks and so many age spots.  Last week, Kate Johnson, in the videos from the second week of her Strathmore Workshop, demonstrated watercolor techniques that were perfect for me to try and yesterday I did my first painting of a very aged building from one of my 2002 photos. 

Cathy (Kate) Johnson is a master of watercolor and author of many books.  She is extremely generous with her knowledge and shares so much with those of us who follow her website and blog, buy her books, and take her online classes.  I LOVE her free online Strathmore workshop and hope that everyone knows that she is the teacher for March.  You can register and access the 4 weekly classes until August.

In this small painting, I used wax paper, dripping, and spatter - with some blotting to try to get the changes in surface texture that I wanted. 


January 16, 2012

Sketching Venice

When I was making my Venice Sketchbook, I folded two strips of watercolor waste paper so I can do some preliminary sketching from photos.  These are mainly photos that I took on previous visits, before I started drawing again.  Scroll down to yesterday's blog post for information about the Venice Sketchbook.

I adore Venice, but worried that I could be overwhelmed by the architecture (very complex) and water (which I don't really know how to paint).  Here are the three sections I did so far.


I love this architecture - and sketched the upper balcony from a photo of the Doge's Palace. 


My first attempt at dealing with Canal water, and what better for drawing than the Rialto Bridge.


I love the masks that are historically significant in Venice and as a physician really think the Plague Doctor costume is fantastic.  The beak contained medicinal herbs and other things to try to prevent contracting plague.

The Campanile was another architectural challenge and a time for me to see if I have some of the right colors of paint and watercolor pencils.  The bricks were painted with a mahogany Caran D'Ache watercolor pencil.


August 3, 2006

EDM Challenge #78: A Souvenir


I don't collect anything specific and my "souvenirs" are almost always a piece of fabric or a new journal when we travel.  The exception is Italy!  I love to survey all of the leather carts and shops in Florence.  I bought this very small, wonderful leather pouch several years ago at the Leather Factory inside Santa Croce.  It was on sale and a fun inexpensive purchase.  I had no idea that it is the perfect size (7.5 x 4.5 inches) and shape for me to carry my digital camera in the main section and an extra battery and photo card in the zipper pocket.  The lightweight cord is long enough for it to be carried very comfortably around my neck/across my chest and when we're out exploring I forget that I even have it on.  The small piece of fabric that I bought during that trip at Fortuny in Venice and the journals that I bought in Florence and Venice are still in my fabric stash and empty on my shelf respectively!

January 6, 2006

The Amalfi Coast


The Amalfi Coast:  We took a bus along the Amalfi Drive to Positano and then walked down the main stairway to the beach.  I fell in love immediately with the Positano style: the colors, the textures, and the amazing design of the clothes that were displayed in all of the shops along the passageway. We had 10 minutes for coffee on the beach before our boat arrived and I sketched a few buildings on the edge of the water.  We then cruised the coast to Amalfi and we walked so much in the main squares of Amalfi that I only had time for a few fast sketches.  I did buy a wonderful small watercolor journal in the oldest paper shop in Amalfi.

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